Is anyone else head over heels OBSESSED with Mexican cuisine? Burritos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas…if it comes from Mexico, I will eat it. Of course I’m loyal to Gujarati cuisine, but Mexican food is an easy second for me.
And when it comes to having Mexican food for dinner, my latest obsession is this green rice recipe. It’s perfectly fluffy and flavoursome, and packs a slight punch thanks to some fresh chilli. But perhaps best of all, it’s the most gorgeous green hue. SWOON!
Why you’ll love this green rice recipe:
If you’ve never made green rice, you’re making rice wrong. Seriously, it’s that good.
This easy green rice recipe comes together in just 25 minutes and is packed with flavour and spice. It’s also naturally vegan and gluten-free!
Also if you’re a burrito fan, adding green rice is a total GAME CHANGER. It’s the perfect way to ensure your burritos are packed with flavour – no disappointingly bland bites of burrito come out of my kitchen!
How to make Mexican green rice:
The first step to making this healthy side dish is to blend together the following:
- Onion – I like red onion but white also works well in this recipe.
- Garlic – always use fresh garlic! It has the best flavour.
- Coriander and Spinach – fresh coriander and spinach are what make our green rice, green!
- Fresh chilli – for that spicy kick! You can omit the chilli if you wish.
- Spices – we’re using ground cumin, ground coriander, and some salt in this recipe.
- Fresh lime juice – for a little tang!
We’ll blend these ingredients together with a little water until we have a smooth green paste. It looks a little like a green smoothie, but you don’t want to drink this smoothie!
If you are looking for a tasty green drink which won’t give you perpetual garlic breath, check out my green smoothie recipe – it’s also 4 of your 5 a day!
Once we have our flavour-smoothie, we’re going to add it to a large pot with some rice and water. If you like your Mexican green rice fluffy, then white basmati rice is a good choice. If you’d like a little more bite and texture then brown rice is the way to go!
Then we’ll give this a quick stir, and then cook the rice until it’s fluffy. See below for my tips for making perfect rice – number 3 is a real game changer!
Cooking the rice with these extra blended ingredients allows the rice to absorb all those fragrant flavours. The rice also takes on a beautiful green colour as it cooks!
After about 10 minutes of cooking we’ll have some perfectly fluffy, magically green Mexican rice. Simples!
Shivani’s (mum’s) tips for cooking perfect rice every time:
A lot of people struggle to cook good rice. I’m sure we’ve all had that batch that was too watery, stuck to the bottom of the pan, or is stickier than that toffee sweet from the chocolate box. (Which NO ONE LIKES by the way – petition to eject that one, please.)
So to avoid any more rice disasters, here are some top tips for making perfect rice, courtesy of my mother, the rice queen. We also have her to thank for this delicious vegan pilau rice recipe, which is a reader favourite!
- Wash your rice first. A lot of people don’t actually wash their rice, but this step is super important to avoid the end result being sticky. Washing our rice removes some of the starch – you’ll want to wash the rice until the water runs clear to yield maximum fluffiness.
- Don’t add too much water. Or else your rice will be like porridge! The general ratio for cooking rice is 1 part rice to 2 parts water – I like to start with a little less and only add more if the rice needs it.
- Don’t stir the rice too much. In fact, actively avoid stirring the rice. If you stir the rice it becomes sticky – just leave it to do it’s thing!
- Don’t touch the rice. Once the rice is boiling we are going to cover it for 10 minutes and cook on low. During this time don’t touch it, don’t open the lid to look at it, don’t even THINK ABOUT IT. If you think about your rice, the rice gods will enter your kitchen and set a curse on your rice so it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Believe me.
What to serve with green rice:
This vegan green rice makes the perfect accompaniment to a range of Mexican dishes. Serve with burritos, enchiladas, or even as an accompaniment to these Mexican-inspired black bean-stuffed sweet potatoes.
You could even go international and serve this Mexican green rice alongside some sweet potato chickpea curry!
Storage and reheating:
If you are preparing this rice ahead of time, make sure to follow food safety guidelines when it comes to storing and reheating.
I hope you enjoy this green rice recipe, friends! As always, I’d love for you to let me know your opinion by leaving a rating and review below. You can also tag me in your creations on Instagram!
Easy Mexican Green Rice Recipe (vegan)
- 1 1/2 cups/ 270 grams White Basmati Rice or brown rice – see notes
- 1/2 Red Onion roughly chopped
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 cup/ 40 grams Fresh Spinach
- 1/4 cup/ 5 grams Fresh Coriander plus extra to serve
- 1/2 Fresh Red Chilli or more if desired
- 1/4 Lime juiced
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Dried Coriander or dhana
- 1/4 tsp Dried Cumin or jeera
- Add the rice to a large pot and cover with water. Use your hands to wash the rice until the water becomes opaque (this is the starch). Drain the starchy water and repeat this process until the water runs clear.
- After the final wash cover the rice with 2.5 cups/ 650 ml water. Set the pot aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, spinach, coriander, chilli, lime juice and spices to a blender along with 1/4 cup/ 65 ml water. Blend until smooth.
- Add the blended mixture to the rice and water and mix with a spoon to combine.
- Bring the pot to the boil on high heat. Once the rice has reached a rolling boil, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes. During this time, don't open the lid or touch the rice – just let it do it's thing!
- After 10 minutes remove the lid and fluff up the rice with a fork. Taste the rice – if it is still not cooked, add an additional 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup water and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the rice is soft.
- Taste the rice and season with extra salt if desired. Serve the Mexican green rice hot with lime wedges and fresh coriander. Enjoy!
- If you are using brown rice, increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes. You may also need more water, so check after the 10 minute mark.
- This recipe yields green rice with a subtle kick – if you’d like an extra punch then add a whole chilli or some chilli flakes!
- Please follow food safety guidelines when storing and reheating rice.
NUTRITIONServing: 1 portion Calories: 191 kcal | Fat: 0.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 299mg | Carbohydrates: 41.7g | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 0.7g | Protein: 4.8g